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664-682 Yonge Street (across from Isabella, land assembly)

adma

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no. scientology is looking to renovate its building and stay there long-term.
Though given this image on its website, what they have in mind re renovation would probably render the "heritage" matter moot
 

Batman

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Holy 'Operating Thetan' Batman, that's terrible!
Citizen, it's up to you to make your voice heard to protect your fair city from this architectural crime. Demand of your councillor that such recladdings be passed by the design review panel before approval is given. Such a move could have spared us the super-villainy at 180 Wellington West.
 

TrickyRicky

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I was joking around with my last comment but it illustrates a real and pressing issue: Condo buildings are black-holes at street level, intrinsically. They are worse from a community perspective than mom-and-pop dive stores and dollar stores. You will not be getting high-end retail, not at all. It's great for low-rise neighbourhoods adjacent to Yonge or in other areas of the central city because all these people will have to leave their neighbourhood to go shopping, eat at restaurants etc. You can argue that I am exaggerating the trend but take a look at the evidence based on the condos which have gone up in the last decade. You would have to count yourself damn lucky to get something as interesting as a Shoppers Drug Mart at the base of a condo.
 
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dt_toronto_geek

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Well stated TrickyRicky.
 

balenciaga

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I was joking around with my last comment but it illustrates a real and pressing issue: Condo buildings are black-holes at street level, intrinsically. They are worse from a community perspective than mom-and-pop dive stores and dollar stores. You will not be getting high-end retail, not at all. It's great for low-rise neighbourhoods adjacent to Yonge or in other areas of the central city because all these people will have to leave their neighbourhood to go shopping, eat at restaurants etc. You can argue that I am exaggerating the trend but take a look at the evidence based on the condos which have gone up in the last decade. You would have to count yourself damn lucky to get something as interesting as a Shoppers Drug Mart at the base of a condo.
We don't need so many high end retail. When was the last time you shop at Holt Renfrew? With the influx of mid to upper class residents, more mid range retailers have the incentive to enter because they have a larger customer base. Trust me, business always goes after where the market is. If there are 800 20-30 something professionals with good income living near Yonge/Carlton, retail will follow. These people won't drive a car to the suburban outlet to do mass shopping and cook lunch and dinner every day. They eat out and they shop nearby.

As to what retail we will get, wait until you see Aura opens.
 

marsh

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The problem is that developers often do not want to go with independent businessess as they are seen as more riskly financially than large chains - hence the homogenization and loss of mom and pop stores that bring character and variety to the street. Also, I think it is very difficult to do retail and condos. Alot of condo owners may not want restaurants or bars on the base for fear of noise/smells etc. I think it is very difficult to do condos/commercial well - at least from what I've seen and as a result it is the street life that suffers. Plus how many mid range retail stores can the popluation really support. I have seen a lot of condo buidlings with retail vacant at the ground level. People living at Yonge Carlton are 5 minutes away from the Eaton Centre if they want to do shopping. People are also at record levels of debt.
 

dt_toronto_geek

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For some reason retail seemed to be done well when condos were built back in the 80's, and some in the 90's. Perhaps the leases are too high now.
 

balenciaga

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The problem is that developers often do not want to go with independent businessess as they are seen as more riskly financially than large chains - hence the homogenization and loss of mom and pop stores that bring character and variety to the street.
Mom and pop stores don't necessarily add character to our city. There is not a shortage of those on our Yonge st and look at what we get. Plus, mom and pop stores serve better in less than prime locations where retail activities are less, not right in the center of everything, unless of course these stores are extremely unique and competitive. If a mom and pop store only sells equally boring but overpriced stuff, why would I go shop there instead of H&M and McDonald's? You have to give consumers a reason to shop there over chain stores by having an advantage in something.

Also, I think it is very difficult to do retail and condos. Alot of condo owners may not want restaurants or bars on the base for fear of noise/smells etc. I think it is very difficult to do condos/commercial well - at least from what I've seen and as a result it is the street life that suffers. Plus how many mid range retail stores can the popluation really support. I have seen a lot of condo buidlings with retail vacant at the ground level. People living at Yonge Carlton are 5 minutes away from the Eaton Centre if they want to do shopping. People are also at record levels of debt.
First I don't think condo owners mind living above retail。 They didn't choose to live downtown for the tranquility. They know what they are getting into. Second, most retails don't create excessive noise. Is the college park mall that noisy for people who live nearby? I don't think so.

As to Aura, it will have a BBB, which Eaton center doesn't have. Of course by being so close to Eaton centre, you have to be very careful what retail you are introducing, but it is not like Eaton Centre has everything.

Last time i found there were even two home depot stores in Manhattan, on 23rd and 59th. Why not in downtown Toronto. If you have Target or Nordstrom below Aura, I don't think Eaton Centre being 5 minutes away is an issue.
 

taal

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I'm so sick of the comments regarding a lack of quality retail in the bases of any new condominium projects, why ? Because it is completely untrue.

There are so many examples of condos built in the last 5 years that have plenty of interesting retail in the base ... I'm referring to restaurants / boutique stores / ...
Sure there are many that don't contain what we deem "interesting" ... take banks for example ... well the reason is simple in most of the projects you see this the surrounding area has little to no quality retail space available for a bank to occupy (i.e. such space doesn't exist, or it does but isn't available) and they simply want to be in the area ... its driven by the market ... if I managed the retail in the base of a condo and a bank was interesting of course I'd be interested as well, they're likely one of the most stable retail outlets one can find.

If you stop and think about it, that makes perfect sense, in the GTA most condo projects aren't built on dense streets already filled with retail, even in the core this holds true, so there is generally little retail in the vicinity.

This also explains the other retail outlets we all seem to loath i.e. dry cleaners and the like. Lastly, one needs to keep in mind a couple condo projects in an area don't automatically create an atmosphere compelling to all sorts of retails (I'm referring to restaurants / clothing stores) ... its just not enough. So generally its takes a critical mass of condos / density, moreover they need to have a built form that is desirable for retail. Take SCC and MCC (though many of the new projects in MCC are taking care to do this right), even though one may think there is a critical mass, even if restaurants do go in the base of a building, many times they don't do well, as the built form of the area just isn't conducive to walking.

High rental rates are just the same, generally speaking the retail in new condos are high quality, if you built a similar standalone retail outlet, it would fetch the same rates.

There is generally just one thing that makes some condo retail different, and note that this doesn't apply to most; The condo board themselves ... sometimes they have sway / control over the retail permitted, in such cases generally food outlets aren't desired ... clothing boutiques and the like would be loved though.

Clearly this isn't prevelant though as there are so many condo retail outlets that deal with food in some way or another.
 
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adma

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Re condo retail: let's also allow a benefit of the doubt for how thing'll be two or three old-shoe decades from now--I'm sure a lot of those apparently-presently-successful 80s condos had similar problems in their early years.

So generally its takes a critical mass of condos / density, moreover they need to have a built form that is desirable for retail. Take SCC and MCC (though many of the new projects in MCC are taking care to do this right), even though one may think there is a critical mass, even if restaurants do go in the base of a building, many times they don't do well, as the built form of the area just isn't conducive to walking.
By comparison, NYCC *is* successful--with an assist from both preexisting urban form and Gangnam-style demographics...
 
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